Gay peo­ple face job prej­u­dice over voices

Daily Mail - - News -

GAY men with fem­i­nine sound­ing voices of­ten face dis­crim­i­na­tion when ap­ply­ing for top jobs, a study sug­gests.

The same is true of those les­bians whose voices are slightly huskier.

Re­searchers at Sur­rey Univer­sity played record­ings of gay and het­ero­sex­ual speak­ers to 40 het­ero­sex­ual men, and showed the lis­ten­ers a pic­ture of the speaker.

The sci­en­tists, whose study is pub­lished in the jour­nal Archives of Sex­ual Be­hav­iour, used the two voices they cat­e­gorised as sound­ing ‘most gay’ and ‘most het­ero­sex­ual’ in pre­vi­ous stud­ies.

The par­tic­i­pants were asked to form im­pres­sions about the suit­abil­ity of the ap­pli­cants for a fic­tional job of chief ex­ec­u­tive, and the salary they should be given.

Par­tic­i­pants who cor­rectly iden­ti­fied the speaker as gay or les­bian viewed them as in­ad­e­quate for the lead­er­ship role.

Hav­ing a ‘ het­ero­sex­ual’ or ‘straight’ sound­ing voice led the lis­ten­ers to think the can­di­date was more suit­able for the job and also de­served a higher salary. The les­bian can­di­dates re­ceived lower eval­u­a­tions than their non-gay coun­ter­parts.

Lead re­searcher Dr Fabio Fa­soli said: ‘De­spite all the work to lessen dis­crim­i­na­tion against the LGBT (les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­der) com­mu­nity, peo­ple sub­con­sciously type­cast an in­di­vid­ual. This study high­lights that it can be a real prob­lem in the work­place and for peo­ple’s ca­reer prospects.’

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